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Top Memorial Day Picks

by: Editor on 5/21/2016

Spending the long weekend in Sedona and want to pepper in some patriotism? You’re in the right place! Explore one of the many hiking trails in and around the city, but start early. Average temperatures this time of year are in the 70s, and if you really want to see all the beauty the desert has to offer, get out there early. Ask your friendly desk agent what their favorite hike is!

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Take a Sedona tour, but act fast—these tours fill up! You can choose from kayaking, desert guided hikes, pub hopping, a double decker bus tour, and more. Just remember that for the holiday weekend, there are more tourists than ever, so if you want to snag the best tours for you, reserve early, and show up early if you don’t have an assigned seat.

The Great Outdoors

Red Rock State Park is one of the most popular local options for cycling, hiking, picnicking and more. There’s also Dead Horse Ranch State Park (don’t let the name put you off), ideal for fishing and swimming. If you’re en route and need essentials, swing by the local Bashas’ for picnic goodies and supplies.

You’ll need a Red Rock, Golden Age, Golden Access, or America the Beautiful Interagency Pass for Red Rock access and for many more parks. As a high impact recreation area, you can pick these up at a number of convenience stores in the area. No matter how you spend this three day weekend, make it count with careful planning and early bookings.

Go Greek in Sedona!

by: Editor on 5/15/2016

Sedona may be famous for authentic southwestern Mexican cuisine, but don’t overlook the Greek system in Sedona! There’s plenty of Greek and Mediterranean options to whet your appetite, all of which are especially refreshing on those hot spring and summer days. Start at The Greek Café, a counter-serving deli that’s authentic and delicious. Healthy options are galore, and the high-end olive oil makes a number of the dishes stand out.

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Taverna is a favorite amongst locals, open daily with happy hour and reverse happy hour so you can wine and dine all night long. Try the mezze platter, Taverna fries, and fresh pita and pasta bowls. Everything from burgers to salads, pizza to desserts, including ciabatta bread pudding, is on hand here, so come hungry.

A Greek Affair

Pita Jungle is a fast, casual option with happy hour options and tapas galore. “Healthy food burgers,” oven-fired pizzas, homemade hummus, and innovative smoothies are top picks. There’s also a kids menu and featured specials constantly changing to keep you and your appetite guessing.

Still want more? Marino’s Corner Bistro with hand battered zucchini fries, fried calamari, Greek nachos, and sampler plates are sure to satisfy. Pizzas, steaks, and entrées like the Gyro Plate are what keeps locals coming back for more.

 

Great Sedona Chili Cook Off

by: Editor on 5/5/2016

On May 7, the famous Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off, hosted by the local Rotary Club, takes place at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Part of the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend, 2016 welcomes a new Mayors’ Challenge as Mayor Diane Smith Joens of Cottonwood takes on Mayor Sandy Moriarty of Sedona. There’s also the much loved Fire Chiefs’ Challenge. This year it features the Chief of Camp Verde/Montezuma Rimrock Fire District, Terry Keller, against last years’ champ and the Chief of Sedona Fire District, Kris Kazian.

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A number of awards are at stake, including the Peoples’ Choice Award and Judges’ Award, which go to restaurants eager to show off their best chili recipes. There’s also the Best Booth Décor Award. This year’s competing restaurants include 89Agave, a Sonoran Mexican taqueria, Café Paleo Brio Health Food Restaurant, and Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge (and many more!).

Feeling Chili?

The Hideaway House is back, a country Italian restaurant that brings fresh flavor to a southwestern classic dish. The Hudson is also in the running, along with Timo, a wood-fired oven eatery and wine bar. Will Vino di Sedona (a craft beer haven), Verde Brewing Company or Whole Foods Market take home the trophy this year?

All proceeds benefit the Rotary’s charitable programs, especially the Imagination Library which offers free books to 400+ children in the Sedona area. There are also scholarships supported by the cook-off, and END POLIO NOW receives some of the proceeds too.

 

Sedona Mother’s Day

by: Editor on 5/1/2016

Sedona is spilling over with pampering, spa and treatment centers offering Mother’s Day specials, but don’t forget about some of the best brunches the city has to offer. The Sedona Golf Resort is offering its annual Mother’s Day Special with an endless buffet and complimentary mimosas. Adult admission is $25, and children seven and under dine for free. Enjoy an omelet station, prime rib, bacon and turkey sausage, a chocolate fountain, and quiche Lorraine.

The Arizona Biltmore Afternoon Tea Party is an event worthy of all moms. Over 85 years of tradition is steeped here, dating back to the opening in 1929. You’ll find a selection of teas, scones and finger sandwiches, along with a great excuse to wear your most festive hat. Seatings are at noon and two throughout the week, including Sunday, and tickets start at $39.

Mom Gets More

At the aptly named Mama-Rama, the National Comedy Theater caters to Mother’s Day with audience participation. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the Saturday before the big day with shows at 7:30pm and 9:45pm. Tickets are just $12-14, and while you can sometimes score at the door, it’s best to reserve tickets in advance.

For those with moms who are no longer with us, the local Mother’s Day remembrance is a great way to celebrate the life and joy of a special woman in your life. Hospice of the Valley hosts this annual event and encourages attendees to bring mementos and photos of the mom(s) who have moved on.

Sedona Open Studios Tour

by: Editor on 4/20/2016

The fourth weekend in April marks the annual Sedona Open Studios Tour from 10am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday. Visit artists in their natural environment and enjoy live music, appetizers and great company as you go from studio to studio. Get to know a deeper level of artistry, watch the masters work, and maybe even fall in love with a piece that’s the perfect keepsake from your Sedona adventure.

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The Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition is the host of the event, now in its 13th year. A celebration of all artists in the greater Verde Valley, the artist-operated non-profit welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Artists’ participation fees fully fund the tours, which makes it a free community event for all.

A Real Work of Art

In 2016, more than 40 studios will be participating, and every imaginable medium will be on display. Enjoy ceramics, fiber, watercolors, painting, sculpture, photography, and even jewelry making. The Coalition was founded in 1996 with nine artist friends who were passionate about conversations and the sharing of creative ideas.

A common bond can strengthen each individual artist. Now, there are more than 150 shows hosted by the Coalition each year. In 2006, the group gained non-profit status and has been featured in the Sedona Monthly magazine. Show your support, and indulge in a weekend of artistry to see another beautiful slice of Sedona.

Thai One In in Sedona!

by: Editor on 4/8/2016

 

Sedona is home to some of the best, most authentic Thai restaurants in Arizona. Check out Thai Spices Natural Restaurant, where a special veggie menu is available and Chef Pearl’s latest specialties are always featuring innovative dishes. The latest include Shitaki and Sea Vegetables, Thai Duck Curry, Fish Curry Fillet, and Three Herbs Vitality.

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At Thai Palace Uptown, you’ll find Asian inspired cocktails to go with their lunch and dinner menu. Enjoy their Pad Prig King, Thai BBQ Chicken, or their super Spicy Noodles. For dessert, Golden Deep Fried Bananas with Honey, the Palace Banana Wrap or Coconut Ice Cream are all decadent choices.

Thai Options

Locals love Tara Thai Restaurant where specialties include Pra Rham, Steamed Fish, the Coconut Princess, and Thai Suki. Plus, this destination is part restaurant, part Thai massage parlor! Before dinner, pamper yourself with a Traditional Thai Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, or Reflexology treat.

Red Chopstick offers the Mandarin House Flaming Platter Combo, Shark Fin Soup, Spicy Honey Shrimp, and Golden Scallops. Separate beef, pork, chicken, and veggie menus are a must to hold this expansive selection. From curries and tofu dishes to battered fish fare, there’s truly something for everyone at this diverse diner.